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Civil Disobedience

What makes a breach of law an act of civil disobedience? When is civil

disobedience morally justified? How should the law respond to people who engage
in civil disobedience? Discussions of civil disobedience have tended to focus on
the first two of these questions. On the most widely accepted account of civil
disobedience, famously defended by John Rawls (1971), civil disobedience is a
public, non-violent and conscientious breach of law undertaken with the aim of
bringing about a change in laws or government policies. On this account, people
who engage in civil disobedience are willing to accept the legal consequences of
their actions, as this shows their fidelity to the rule of law. Civil disobedience,
given its place at the boundary of fidelity to law, is said to fall between legal
protest, on the one hand, and conscientious refusal, revolutionary action, militant
protest and organised forcible resistance, on the other hand.

This picture of civil disobedience raises many questions. Why must civil
disobedience be non-violent? Why must it be public, in the sense of forewarning
authorities of the intended action, since publicity gives authorities an opportunity
to interfere with the action? Why must people who engage in civil disobedience be
willing to accept punishment? A general challenge to Rawls's conception of civil
disobedience is that it is overly narrow, and as such it predetermines the conclusion
that most acts of civil disobedience are morally justifiable. A further challenge is
that Rawls applies his theory of civil disobedience only to the context of a nearly
just society, leaving unclear whether a credible conception of either the nature or
the justification of civil disobedience could follow the same lines in the context of
less just societies. Some broader accounts of civil disobedience offered in response
to Rawls's view (Raz, 1979; Greenawalt, 1987) will be examined in the first
section of this entry.

This entry has four main sections. The first considers some definitional issues and
contrasts civil disobedience with both ordinary offences and other types of dissent.
The second analyses two sets of factors relevant to the justification of civil
disobedience; one set concerns the disobedient's particular choice of action, the
other concerns her motivation for so acting. The third section examines whether
people have a right to engage in civil disobedience. The fourth considers what kind
of legal response to civil disobedience is appropriate.


1. Promotes National Unity

Mandatory military service can promote national unity in many ways. First, it allows
citizens to learn and train together, creating that shared experience of having served in
the military. Then there is also that general understanding of what life in the army is like,
what is required of the job, and what has to be done in order to protect the country.
Citizens are able to understand and develop appreciation for the sacrifices that people
in the military made for their country. And all of these can bring people together,
especially when dealing with a cultural or political threat from other nations.

2. Maintain Active Military Force

Having compulsory conscription to the military means having an active reserve of large
body of armies that is ready to respond quickly and effectively to any threats to national

3. Ensures High Levels of Governmental Participation

With every citizen required to joined in the armed forces when the need arise, the public
will be more aware and watchful of the governments decision, especially in terms of
national security and the like. With their lives at risk or at sacrifice, people will seek to
understand more about the threats that face their country and will seek a greater voice
on how their government approaches problems.

4. Can Provide Useful Skills

Life in the military can teach individuals more than how to throw a salute or shoot
straight. The trainings they provide goes far beyond the technical skills needed to get
the job done. Many military volunteers who have pursued a career in the civilian
workplace mentioned several other skills and work-related attitudes that help them well
in their job. These include teamwork, responsibility, initiative, stress management,
diversity, and global awareness. Others learn the habits of healthy living and discipline
as well as the skills in self-defense.
5. Promote Equality Among Citizens
Mandatory enlistment means that no one will be exempted from facing wars. All
citizens, be they celebrities, rich businessmen or ordinary people, will be required to
serve when the nation is facing war or in need of extra soldiers.

List of Cons of Mandatory Military Service

1. Violates Free Will
One of the arguments raised against mandatory military service is that it violates
peoples rights to exercise free will. No one has the final say whether they should
participate or not in the military training and enter the army since it is a compulsory
mandate implemented throughout the country.

2. Interferes with Other Forms of Education

Mandatory military service typically drafts young men (and women) when they are at the
peak of their learning ability (18 years old). This delays individuals pursuit for higher
education as well as their entry into the into the civilian labor market, reducing returns to
human-capital investments as a result.

3. Put Young Peoples Lives at Risk

Though you might not like to think about it, part of the process is risking young people
lives at risk. Casualties dont just happen in actual combat or in the battle field but also
during training and the like. Mandatory military service, which normally enlists able-
bodied young people, put the next generation to serious harm and, at worst, death.

4. Compromises the Quality of Military Service

Unlike voluntary soldiers who are willing to undergo rigorous training and serve the
country for a long time in the military, draft soldiers often lacks the necessary
experience and preparedness, providing low combat skill quality when the time comes
they are sent to war. This could lead to high casualty rate among soldiers drafted under
compulsory military service.

5. Not Everyone Is Fit for It

Mandatory military service requires every citizen to join and serve in the armed forces,
but not everyone is cut out for it. Whether it is mental issue, physical issue, or
psychologically issue, not everyone is fit to meet the physical, mental and emotions
demands of the job. Factors like anxiety, depression and the like should be carefully
considered. Potentially killing someone is something that every person who was drafted
in the military struggles with in their own way. A study conducted by the Anxiety and
Depression Association of America showed that approximately 40,000 military members
who returned from war in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). And that rate is three times higher among those who were deployed in
combat than those who were non-deployed.

List of Advantages of Death Penalty

1. It deters bad people to commit heinous crimes.

One reason supporters of the capital punishment are for death penalty is its

effectiveness as a crime deterrent. According to the advocates for death sentencing,

potential criminals will be scared to suffer such harsh punishment and as a result, they

will be hesitant to commit crimes like rape and murder. In fact, for them, it is the greatest

deterrent of criminal acts. If an offender commits a crime that is punishable by death

and gets executed, this will be known by the public, including those who are potential

criminals. For fear of suffering the same plight, they will be discouraged to commit


2. It is what hardened criminals deserve.

Some of the crimes that are under capital punishment include murder and rape,

depending on the country or state legalizing the practice. For pro-death penalty, there

are criminals who are repeat offenders and not scared to rape and murder again,

knowing they will only be imprisoned. These types of people and those who cannot be

transformed should be put to death to project the majority.

3. The government need not spend for criminals who are murderers

and such.

If there will be no death penalty, criminals who have committed grave offenses will only

get life sentences and stay in prison. With the increasing number of incarcerated

individuals, the government will be spending more and more on food and health care of

these inmates. According to some critics, spending for people committing heinous

crimes is impractical and a waste of taxpayers money.

4. It reduces the number of committed crimes.

People who are for death penalty posit that without it, the number of major crimes like

murder and homicide will escalate since bad elements will not be afraid to do whatever

they want., from dealing drugs to killing other people. Without harsh punishments for

their offenses, criminals will be taking advantage of weaker people and victims.

5. It is humane, clean and safe.

Advocates for the death penalty claim that with lethal injection being practiced by more

states and countries over other forms of death sentence executions, it is the better

option. Death by lethal injection is not as barbaric as hanging or firing squad that can be

messy and more painful.

List of Disadvantages of Death Penalty

1. It is not a crime deterrent.

Critics argue that the death penalty does not really deter criminals from committing

offenses. This is because there are criminals who suffer from mental illnesses and a
death sentence will not be able to prevent them from doing bad things they cannot

control without proper medication.

2. It can result to punishing the wrong people.

The legal systems in most countries, even in the U.S. have flaws. There are many

instances where innocent people are sent to jail and convicted of crimes they have not

committed just like the case of a man who was imprisoned for 30 years for rape. If all

people who are convicted will be executed, mistakes will be made and many people will

be put to death through legal injection even if they do not deserve to be.

3. It costs the government too much money.

Critics of death penalty contend the view of supporters that feeding the inmates is more

expensive than death penalty. On the contrary, the drugs used in lethal injection and

other expenses related to the execution are more costly.

4. It can cause depression and feelings of guilt on people.

One of the disadvantages of this practice is the reality that some of the people who

have been involved in the process suffer from depression out of guilt from having to end

another persons life. Some of this people end up committing suicide and others have to

suffer living the remaining years of their lives tormented with the thought. According to a

former executioner, there are many people who have participated in executions whose

lives were later destroyed. Some turned to drugs and alcohol to feel better.

5. It is not humane and cannot be undone.

There was an incident where a person who underwent lethal injection did not die right

away and it took more than 30 minutes for him to die from a heart attack. This was
traumatic not only for the person being executed but also for the people who witnessed

the incident since they saw the man gasping for air and trying to stand up. For people

who are against death penalty, this is not a humane thing to do. Moreover, they say that

if a criminal is executed and after the execution, a new piece of evidence comes out that

would have proven the persons innocence, he or she can never be brought back to life


With the ongoing issue on the availability of lethal drugs and the outcry for abolishment,

the death penalty continues to be a divided issue. Whether it is indeed good for society

or a form of revenge, perhaps, depends on the values and experiences of an individual.

And for many people, though, the advantages have more weight than the